By Jamila Najmuddin
COLOMBO, April 27 (Xinhua) — The medical aid donated by China including test kits is “very valuable” to Sri Lanka as the country is boosting test for the COVID-19 virus, a health official said here Monday.
In an interview with Xinhua, Director General of Health Services at the Health Ministry Anil Jasinghe said Sri Lanka has in recent days witnessed an increase in the number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 as the country has begun testing to identify more patients.
Jasinghe, also vice chairman of the executive board of the World Health Organization, said Sri Lanka has not detected any community transmission of the virus so far.
Jasinghe was speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony held at the Health Ministry premises in capital Colombo, where China handed over its latest batch of donation of medical aid to Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to support the country in fighting the pandemic.
“The support from China is very valuable because these are donations and this is the second consignment we have received, and we have been informed the third consignment is going to come soon. Getting these supplies at the moment is a big bonus for us,” Jasinghe said.
He noted that quality of the medical equipment and test kits from China are good and medical workers have not faced any problems with them.
Sri Lanka has so far reported over 550 confirmed COVID-19 cases and recorded seven deaths.
Jasinghe said it is difficult for medical workers to predict the number of the COVID-19 cases in the coming days but the situation is well under control in the island country.
The authorities, medical workers and military personnel, among others, are working round the clock to ensure the safety of all citizens and limit the spread of the virus while a curfew is in place in four districts including capital Colombo which has been identified as “high-risk zones.”
Jasinghe said there are no Chinese nationals detected with the virus in Sri Lanka now.
He urged to stop stigmatization concerning the COVID-19, noting that the COVID-19 is a global issue.
Looking forward, Jasinghe said there is hope that Sri Lanka could eliminate the virus soon as no community transmission has been detected.
He said health staff and supportive staff have been deployed across the country and contact tracing is underway.
(The image at the top shows Dr.Anil Jasinghe, Sri Lanka’s Director General of Health.Photo by Tang Lu/Xinhua)